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From the Publisher
The #1 bestselling author of Saturday and
Atonement brilliantly illuminates the collision of
sexual longing, deep-seated fears and romantic fantasy in his
unforgettable, emotionally engaging new novel.
The year is 1962. Florence, the daughter of a successful
businessman and an aloof Oxford academic, is a talented violinist.
She dreams of a career on the concert stage and of the perfect life
she will create with Edward, the earnest young history student she
met by chance and who unexpectedly wooed her and won her heart.
Edward grew up in the country on the outskirts of Oxford where his
father, the headmaster of the local school, struggled to keep the
household together and his mother, brain-damaged from an accident,
drifted in a world of her own. Edward's native intelligence,
coupled with a longing to experience the excitement and
intellectual fervour of the city, had taken him to University
College in London. Falling in love with the accomplished, shy and
sensitive Florence - and having his affections returned with equal
intensity - has utterly changed his life.
Their marriage, they believe, will bring them happiness, the
confidence and the freedom to fulfill their true destinies. The
glowing promise of the future, however, cannot totally mask their
worries about the wedding night. Edward, who has had little
experience with women, frets about his sexual prowess. Florence's
anxieties run deeper: she is overcome by conflicting emotions and a
fear of the moment she will surrender herself.
From the precise and intimate depiction of two young lovers eager
to rise above the hurts and confusion of the past, to the touching
story of how their unexpressed misunderstandings and fears shape
the rest of their lives, On Chesil Beach is an
extraordinary novel that brilliantly, movingly shows us how the
entire course of a life can be changed - by a gesture not made or a
word not spoken.